To create a basic pâte à bombe: beat the egg yolks with a whisk until they become thick and white.
Add water and the granulated sugar to a small frying pan or pot. Boil while occasionally lifting the pan off of the heat and shaking it, taking care not to let it scald.
If you have a thermometer, the ideal temperature for Step 3 is about 110-120℃.
From here, you'll have to work quickly, so there are no more pictures, but you want to heat the sugar to a point right before it becomes caramel. Ideally, it should be slightly sticky.
Gradually beat in the sugar from Step 3, just before it reaches a candied state, a little at a time to the egg yolks from Step 2.
In Step 6, if you add too much at once, the egg yolk with stiffen like candy on the spot. Imagine adding it slowly to the center of the whisk.
In Step 6, be sure to add the Step 3 syrup while it's still hot. This is an important step for pasteurize the egg yolks.
Continue to beat Step 8 until it's cooled. This completes your basic pâte à bombe. It should be thick enough for you to write letters as it drizzles off a spoon.
Knead the butter from Step 1 into a sticky paste-like texture.
Add the butter from Step 10 to the egg mixture in Step 9 in 3-4 parts and knead until smooth. This completes your basic butter cream.
Now you should have a light and fluffy cream. If it's a little too soft, then cool it in the refrigerator before use.
There's no limit to the variations you can make!! Add jam, fragrance, or western liquor, and enjoy coming up with your own flavor.
I published "Caramel Butter Cream using a Pâte à Bombe" (Recipe ID: 1074391). Definitely give this one a try for macarons.
I improved the recipe by reducing the sweetness of the pâte à bombe by a half. I also reduced the water amount by a third to simplify the pasteurization process.
If you prefer a sweeter version, use 80 g of granulated sugar with 30 ml of water.
Story Behind this Recipe
I created this butter cream taking various pastries into consideration, wanting something that used egg yolks and works well with macarons. I made this with a moderate sweetness.
This is the butter cream recipe that transformed my liking for butter cream.
A pâte à bombe is a pasteurized egg yolk cream with hot syrup (sugar water) added to it. Pasteurization is the first objective of the process, but it also produces a richly flavored butter cream. You can keep this in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. I keep a stock in the refrigerator and use it whenever I need it.